More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

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Ponichiwa
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Ponichiwa » Mon May 07, 2018 3:53 pm

Sue-- the panels and gussets should compact with time if they're wool-flocked. There's going to be some settling.

I had to take some conformation shots of Kiwi for her Coggins, and am required to share because look how cute she is.
Image

Temperatures got into the 90s for the first time this year yesterday. I'm not ready for summer! But Kiwi and I did get a nice long trail ride in, so it's not all bad.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Tuddy » Mon May 07, 2018 6:39 pm

Worked with Yonka on Sunday. After a whole month off to the day, he figured he should still be on holidays. I really can't blame him as he is used to the routine of only having to work when we leave the farm. When he is at home he thinks he is a pasture ornament.

I could tell he was going to be a bit of handful when I was feeding grain, as I had to get after him to get out of my space and let me walk with a pail. He was still being quite sassy and a little bit of a bully when I actually started work with him, so I we did a lot of lunging with direction changes, halts, backing up, front feet crossovers and disengaging the hind end. He was really stiff in the neck when we were doing the hind quarter exercises, just wanted to do more turns on the forehand, but after a while I got him to soften that neck and get a little more smooth.

When all said and done, when we were finished and I took the halter off, he stood next to me for good boy rubs and then walked beside me back to his buddies. He very well could have took off running, but he chose to stay with me. I took that as a win.

On another note, while he was at the trainers, he caught a little bit of a cold, and along with the dryness here, it is still lingering. He had some residual coughs and some snot start to come out when I started working him. I hope it isn't too serious. I have the vet out on Tuesday for some other stuff, I will have it looked at then.

(FYI - going to copy and paste this to Yonka's thread, just to keep my journal up to date)

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby demi » Mon May 07, 2018 9:55 pm

Nice reports, everyone!
Susan, wow. Good for you! I find it very encouraging to read of your progress, knowing how much you’re up against. And I agree, SF’s Annabelle is really looking good. Her pictures and videos do look like a different horse!

Kiwi looks fabulous. Thanks for the picture.

Mountaineer, I really liked your lesson report. I can feel the difference after my trainer rides Rocky, and it is so neat! I am glad you are going to give Laddie the time he needs to trust himself in the FC’s.


DJR, your clinic vid was nice. I am amazed that your horses are going so well with the terrible winter riding conditions you’ve had to deal with.
And good going Tuddy. Yonka sounds promising
I know I am missing some but I do read everyone’s reports. And appreciate that you all take the time to share.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby demi » Mon May 07, 2018 10:12 pm

Rocky had a lesson today and it went very well. It has been a month since my last lesson due to getting the flu, and then having a family crisis. I was so pleased that she loaded in the trailer without issue, both coming and going. I rode her at the last lesson, but since I havent ridden much in the last month, I had the trainer ride her today. Rocky did very well. The trainer’s comment was that “she came ready to work today!” Trainer worked on SI, HI on the quarter line and then just basically keeping her on the aids and focused. There were two other horses in the arena, one longeing, and Rocky didn’t even glance at them, even when the longe horse started acting up right next to her.

Things have settled down for me and I am SO ready to get back in the routine. I was hot to trot a month ago after my lesson but life had other plans.... The current plan is to ride her at the next lesson in two weeks, and then in future lessons have the trainer ride her for half the lesson and me ride the second half.

I am still glowing at how well she did today. By most standards it was probably no big deal, but for me, well, I am happy because I know how hard it’s been for me to get to this point with a horse.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Flight » Tue May 08, 2018 1:29 am

I'm liking reading the stuff for CPs on here, since its what I have to work on a lot right now.
DJR, nice vid! Lovely change :)
Sue B, I've had a couple of new saddles and it does take a couple of months for them to settle in. Also the flaps around knee rolls take a bit of time to mould for your legs nicely.
Kiwi is gorgeous! So shiny too.

I've been getting used to the full sized arena I ride in now, I was lost at first the long sides go forever! Amongst other things, I've been working on med/ext trot. As Ding is always behind my leg, I tend to just push hard to get the bigger paces and he gets flat and fast. So, I've been trying to encourage them while keeping him up and more together. Happy for any criticism/help .. vid:
https://youtu.be/hmwyMU6eKT8

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby StraightForward » Tue May 08, 2018 3:54 am

Sue B wrote:Sf, KM, was it a gorgeous weekend or what?! :D :D

DS had 2 soccer games Saturday plus I work in the morning and so I did not get to ride. I did, however, spend the hour free time I had trimming manes and tails so my horses look slightly more presentable now. So far I've ridden twice in my new saddle and lunged once (Saturday, to get a sweat mark picture) and yesterday he seemed to like it even more than Friday. I am hoping I can get another ride in this afternoon to see if we are still trending towards the positive. Meanwhile, Tio, in spite of having overly long feet, is getting a nice swing in his back and goes about his work with enthusiasm, even yesterday when it was in the 80's. My only hesitation is the shoulder gussets are a bit large for him, but they do seem to be getting squished down with evry use. I've never had a new saddle before so I don't know how much they change during the breaking-in process. Anyone here know? The saddle, btw, is super comfy for me; I have absolutely zero sore spots from riding in it.


What did you end up buying?

Adrienne told me to get about 30-40 rides in my saddle after she fully reflocked it before coming back for an adjustment, so I'd say that's about how long it takes for fresh wool flocking to more or less pack, but the gusseted area won't pack to a larger proportion than the rest of the flocking unless it's receiving more pressure, which obviously means there is a fit problem.

Yes, it was a lovely weekend. Susan came by and helped me where I've been stuck in working towards half-steps in hand. We did dressage work Saturday and Sunday and then "jumped" today. Jumping consists of one tiny x-rail, and cantering over a ground pole. Today was the first time she really lifted off and over-jumped over the x-rail (pleased to say I didn't catch her mouth or get left behind), and had some decent control in canter over the ground pole.
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Sue B » Tue May 08, 2018 6:12 pm

Looking like Tio needs an extra-wide, if I want to ride with any sort of saddle pad, that is. I have searched the internet, no used ones in my size. :cry: I think I'll just have to bite the bullet and buy a new one, but they are swamped with orders so the wait may be "forever." If the saddle wasn't so darn nice to ride in and if Tio didn't like it so much, I'd look for alternatives, but all I can do is imagine how happy he'll be in the next size wider. Kinda need to make up my mind today. Wish me luck!

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby musical comedy » Tue May 08, 2018 6:49 pm

Removed post because it doesn't belong here. Sorry bout that.
Last edited by musical comedy on Wed May 09, 2018 1:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby khall » Tue May 08, 2018 7:55 pm

Sue Tio needs a XW in a hoop tree? Have you thought about looking into a balance saddle?

I have a Black Country Vinici in a hoop tree, love it. Wide though not XW, they can be widened one size up. Hoop trees are hard to find used. A good friend of mine has been looking, is now going through Duett to see if what they have will work. Her horse BTW is a OTTB g (where is the OMG emoticon when you need it) and my W hoop tree is a touch tight on him. If what you need is a hoop tree fit for flatter backed horses, Black Country, some Frank Baines, Duett, some Albions and Balance saddles work. Lovett and Rickets are made more for curved backs and some of the ones made for iberians tend to be curvier.

All of mine go in the Vinici except for my older mare, she is not that wide anymore, had to pull weight off when she foundered and have so far been able to keep her slim, this year may be different though.

MC is that a hoop tree saddle? I'm not familiar with a Cardinal Cachet.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby musical comedy » Tue May 08, 2018 9:20 pm

khall, here is the Cardanel website: http://www.cardanelsaddles.co.uk/
What a lot of people don’t know, is several saddles with ‘names’ are made by one of the Walsall UK
saddle makers, and then they put their own brand on them. For example, Trilogy is made by Cardanel.

No, I don’t think my saddle is a hoop tree, but my old guy is built very much like your big guy and
no saddle fitter ever said he needed a hoop tree. In fact, I don’t think Schleese (for example) makes
a hoop tree. Could you use a regular tree on your horses or was a hoop tree a necessity?

But yeah, finding a used saddle for a horse that needs a sort of speciality fit is problematic. The other thing is
if you (g) don’t really know how to judge a good fit, then what. I, for example, don’t trust my judgement
and have to rely on a fitter. And then there’s the case where it fits the horse, but not the rider.

I'm pretty lucky because my fitter is a UK Society of Master Saddlers SMS qualified fitter with 20+ years
experience.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby demi » Tue May 08, 2018 11:18 pm

I rode today for the first time in a month. I lost ground as far a stamina. Rode for 32 minutes, all walk except 6 minutes of trot. I was a little disappointed at first that I only trotted 6 minutes, but I wasn’t pushing myself so I need to find out how much trot I can do if I push. I wont be able to ride tomorrow, but on Thursday, I’ll go for as much trot as I can do without getting jelly legs. Then, depending on how much that turns out to be, I’ll start pushing to jelly legs every other ride. I am thinking, even with 3-4 off horse workouts/week, I will still need to get in 5 riding days a week in order to increase my stamina. I will be doing a lot of full arena trotting.

Thinking about Rocky’s lesson with the trainer yesterday, I remembered more of what she said:

Rocky has made a lot of progress since we started lessons mid-October. She is finally starting to focus on the work. Rocky is an over-achiever. She wants to go go go and is impatient when things aren’t happening. That’s OK, because she has an excellent engine and is very athletic and these two things make the work easy for her. We have to be patient until she understands what we (trainer mostly) we want from her.

She needs lots of walking in an “up and open” frame (I can do that!!). When she drops her neck and curls (Josette, if you’re reading this, you mentioned (somewhere?!?)that your pony’s default position is like Rocky’s when she drops and curls, so maybe we can share notes on a new thread) just bump her up and continue. Rocky understands this and I think it will just take some time to get her out of than dropping/curling behavior.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby StraightForward » Wed May 09, 2018 12:41 am

Sue B wrote:Looking like Tio needs an extra-wide, if I want to ride with any sort of saddle pad, that is. I have searched the internet, no used ones in my size. :cry: I think I'll just have to bite the bullet and buy a new one, but they are swamped with orders so the wait may be "forever." If the saddle wasn't so darn nice to ride in and if Tio didn't like it so much, I'd look for alternatives, but all I can do is imagine how happy he'll be in the next size wider. Kinda need to make up my mind today. Wish me luck!


The other thing you might look for is a Mike Corcoran Master dressage. He designed several saddles for Black Country, and his saddles are a very open head. I had one on trial for Annabelle and was so sad to send it back because it was way too wide. They're not well known, so used ones seem to be <1500.

I got Pickle home safely today. She loaded right up after not being on a trailer for 16+ months. I have my Vinici back and I'm hoping it will work for Annabelle now that she has but so much more topline.
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby khall » Wed May 09, 2018 12:49 am

MC no a regular A tree would not fit my guys. Rip has needed a hoop tree since he was 5 and his sister always needed one. My filly Joplin actually fits in the hoop tree now, go figure. Rip is actually narrower right now than he was a young horse which according to Mark is what happens when they lift in their sling. I can understand and sympathize with Sue saying Tio needed a wider tree if she wanted to use a saddle pad. Now I can actually use a pad with sheep skin or even a thinner sheep skin half pad with Rip. Still have to use a thinner pad with Gaila, does not help she is FAT!

I am actually pretty good at looking at fit and if I need a second opinion my holistic DVM is good too. Have yet to find a decent saddle fitter that I trust. I use the flexi curve to check their measurements which is how I determined Rip was so much narrower than he had been. I do not have flocking skills, but have not needed that very much with the Black Country.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Chisamba » Wed May 09, 2018 3:20 am

So partially because is tired and lazy, and partially because I wanted to check my balance in transitions and lateral work, I rode Kimba bare back today. While perhaps I did not ride for expression of gaits, I was overall pleased. I am sitting more balanced in my half pass, and canter transition was a breeze. Shoulder in rode comfortably and even stretch trot and mediums were active.

You really can feel the back when there is only a pair of yoga pants between you and the horse. Kimba was polite and a sweetheart.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_ ... 9275818633

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Flight » Wed May 09, 2018 8:12 am

You've just mapped out the perfect seat for some breeches, Chisamba :lol:

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Ryeissa » Wed May 09, 2018 3:34 pm

Sue B wrote:I've never had a new saddle before so I don't know how much they change during the breaking-in process. Anyone here know? The saddle, btw, is super comfy for me; I have absolutely zero sore spots from riding in it.


Some can change quite a bit! My fluffy saddle made my eyes bug out, but sure enough they squished down. Saddle fitter can guide you and hold your hand. :lol:

My (more specific) goals are to learn by memory and integrate the 1st/2nd level movements into each ride- I have a huge problem with simply forgetting to do certain aspects like centerlines. Also with a lot of riders and jumps it can be hard some days, so I get out of the habit. Anyways, all going well and I do remember how to do a NICE ROUND circle :lol:

The other goal is to again do hills and trial rides- It really helps with collection. My horse has been super good on trial rides which has been a huge bonus (he is more calm and not so nervous), it's been so much fun! I can tell Riot's back and hips are really muscling out in the hillwork.

As always, the same old dressage goals persist- straightness, balance, etc etc

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Dresseur » Thu May 10, 2018 2:57 am

We finally have proper spring temperatures! That was a very, VERY long winter lol. I'm continuing to re-tool M's canter. It's an interesting process, but I am seeing improvements. He's starting to lengthen his frame and un-ball himself. And, more importantly, he's starting to lift the knees more and still shots of him are looking like a more normal horse in terms of the stride and separation of legs in the stride.
As a bonus, the trot keeps improving too. But basically, this so far has been a rinse and repeat of go forward and come back. At first, I wasn't getting any shift of balance or length of stride - he would just slap his fronts down faster and go up and down, which felt impressive, but wasn't going any where. Now, he's staying up instead of curling when I push him out and he's actually getting longer in his frame. As you can see, he has tremendous reach with his hinds - but that doesn't necessarily do us any favors at the moment.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby greenholmeshandy » Thu May 10, 2018 10:11 am

lovely to see everyones reports, as per usual mine follows on the heels of Dressuer - Im not stalking honest! Lovely lovely photos dressuer.

I made a discovery with pony. All those years of struggling to even get canter resolved by taking her to a breed show. I haven't done much showing as opposed to dressage as she used to get very tense and nap in the showing , nearly mowing a judge over once.

As a result of the warm ups at dressage competitions she now is happy to ride with other horses in the arena and ignores them. I found that as a result of doing the ridden shows where you trot and canter as a group as well as doing an individual show she suddenly discovered that its easier to canter on the correct lead and good fun. We both enjoyed the show, pony esp. as she was in season as a rather sexy fell stallion pointed out to us both !!!

I now feel confident that we can get the problem left lead which means that we do so it also shows how much a riders state of mind can affect things.

We are now working on shoulder in at trot and canter to get straightness , getting a more constant contact (my issue as I tend to lose the contact if I change rein or pace) and getting her to move of the leg activating her hind legs more to step under and push without running.

One thing my trainer pointed out is that I focus on where the head is, she has me more focused on where the bottom of the neck before the withers is, if the necks up she is of the contact, if its down and she is rounded she is in the contact, if the neck is pointed in on a circle more than the shoulders she will drift out and jack knife. Probably all obvious things but stuff I didn't get.

I have another dressage test booked for two weeks time. I don't kid myself I will ever be a great dressage rider but I am really enjoying the journey.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby StraightForward » Thu May 10, 2018 2:09 pm

greenholmeshandy wrote:I now feel confident that we can get the problem left lead which means that we do so it also shows how much a riders state of mind can affect things.


This is so true! I felt that A was not coordinated enough to canter over ground poles until she did so quite tidily on her own while turned out in the arena the other day. The next day I set one up and although not perfect, she navigated it just fine with my big butt weighing her down. But I think that the work we're doing contributes to their increased abilities - we just don't always realize it. So your Shandy may not have done so well with the cantering at the show if not for all of your hard work over the months and years to improve her dressage.
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby StraightForward » Fri May 11, 2018 1:47 am

Well Pickle continues to live up to her name. I brought her in yesterday and she flexed totally clean/sound though the vet noted some effusion in her stifles. I talked him into x-raying her back because the trainer was rather fixated on a "dent" she has just ahead of her dock. Vet was not convinced that it was any type of injury. Luckily he x-rayed her entire back, because she has a couple spots with a concerning lack of space between the spinal processes (but not kissing spines). One in particular, does not take a stretch of the imagination to see the processes touching if she were to drop her back. Vet recommended Osphos, so we are doing that. This all seemed consistent with her behaviour, so I thought it was figured out, but left her overnight so they could scope her today just to rule out ulcers. Ouch. She has bad ulcers. So luckily there is a spot at my new barn, and she'll go up there tomorrow, as the owner has graciously agreed to help with her course of meds over the times I have to be out of town in the next few weeks. The ulcers were bad enough that she was also prescribed sucraflate (sp?).

This afternoon she had bodywork with the, let's say... more eastern-influenced bodyworker, and clearly enjoyed it. Watching her fall asleep in the sun with a floppy lip, it was hard to imagine her as a bucking bronco. Tomorrow will be the bodyworker who is a little more mechanistic and also has a MagnaWave machine. I'll do in-hand work with her during her stay, and hopefully get her back up. I'll have them re-check her back when she gets scoped since she'll be under anyway. The proof will be in her behavior after she goes back to the trainer though. In a perfect world, her behavioral issues will evaporate and I'll be able to take her back in late summer, early fall.

Also, I had a wonderful ride on Annabelle today. Susan came by and helped me with her half-steps again this morning, which really revved her her rear-wheel drive. I got some nice SI in hand at the trot, which was a first, and then a nice ride with some good balanced left lead canter. The new layer of sand in the outdoor arena probably helped too, as she felt a little less tentative in the far end that used to be kind of hard.

Looking forward to the two lessons I have booked for this weekend!
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Srhorselady » Fri May 11, 2018 3:48 am

SF if the ulcers continue to be a problem I've had good luck with compounded flavored (peppermint) powdered Omeprozole. I put a scoop in lightly dampened senior feed and the finicky mare gobbles it down. I've been caring for my neighbors senior pasture ornament since before Xmas. She has always been a nervous pacing type mare. Well she began demonstrating minor colicky symptoms off and on. I got the owners ok to call the vet who suspects ulcers. We did the sucralfate without major improvement. The mare and I had to have a "come to Jesus" moment after we both ended up covered in white liquid! The owner can't afford a month of Ulcerguard so my trainer recommended the powdered Omeprozole that he has been using successfully after his vet recommended it. While not cheap, it's cheaper than a month of Ulcerguard. My vet hadn't used powdered Omeprozole before but was willing to try at the fairly reasonable, compared to Ulcerguard, price point. Within two days of starting it the mare lost the colic symptoms and began to clean up her hay. She's been on it now for almost 3 months with no return of symptoms. She is finishing her food and is much calmer behavior wise.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby StraightForward » Fri May 11, 2018 4:19 am

Thanks for that @Srhorselady. I did discuss Esomeprazole with my vets because Miss Pickle is quite a pickle to administer oral meds, an I hate asking the barn staff to do it when I'm out of town. Of course they assured me that although there are anecdotes about improvement, only Gastrogard is proven to work, blah blah, whatever Merial rep told them. I was thinking of putting her on the generic Esomeprazole from CostCo which is like $40/month for doses supported by a published study, but then I was able to figure out logistics for doing the Gastrogard and sucralfate though I'm not excited about the expense having just done it for Annabelle 4 months ago. They did mention that a weekly injectable option is in development. I'm not sure how it compares in cost, but it would sure be easier to administer. They apparently trialed it, but it's still going through approvals, and there were quality control issues with the batches they received.
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Kyra's Mom » Fri May 11, 2018 5:27 am

Poor Pickle. At least you had the ulcer angle checked out. Fixing the ulcers ought to help a lot.

I had ride # 3 yesterday. I have had a little vacation from work and for the most part, the weather has been gorgeous. With my mucked up back, I am sticking mostly to walk and go over to our little trotting track on the property. Yesterday's lateral work was shoulder in--move the shoulders back in line--haunches in. It is kind of cool on the track, you can do both right and left reins simply by changing sides of the track. Her former BFF spied her from her pasture and gave a big whinny which of course, Kyra responded in kind and I thought for sure that I would lose her partnership but she stayed with me even if bellering once or so per lap :lol: . The fence is now HOT and we have gone over a week without tearing down the fence between her and her new neighbor. So nice not having to spend 20 minutes repairing fence and 20 minutes repairing the horse.

Today was podiatry day (trim day) so I just did a bit of in-hand work working on haunches in and moving to half pass then we finished with some half steps. Today, she was nicely straight and soft in the halter (I do a lot of my in-hand work in the halter). She doesn't have much amplitude in half steps which isn't surprising with her state of fitness but she definitely tries and got 4-5 diagonal steps on each hand 8-) .

Happy riding all.
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Sue B » Fri May 11, 2018 4:26 pm

How come you guys aren't having downpours and wind like we are? Not that I'm complaining, cuz we need every drop of rain we can get this time of year...

Adrienne called and said a 17", xw Elipse is on its way from Wisconsin and should be here by mid-week. I am soooo excited, everyone jingle for me that it fits me and Tio! Oh yeah, yes, MC, Tio needs a hoop tree. He has a very cobby shape to his shoulders and withers. I have never ridden or owned such a shaped horse before, so new thing for me as well.

Before the rains hit yesterday, i had a gorgeous ride out on Tio Wed evening. Even though his feet were horribly long (finally got trimmed this am in the rain) and uncomfortable, I was able to hop on him with no gw, no lunging and ride out through the hay fields with my loony Lucy running all over. Tio loved every minute of it, stayed relaxed and eager to explore. My old saddle must have been more uncomfortable than I realized. :oops:

Great updates everyone. Jingling for Pickles to heal her ulcers and Susan to heal her back. Dresseur, Miro looks lovely as usual...I am so happy he's staying sound for you. Greenholmeshandy, sounds like you may have had a bit of an epiphany with that whole mental thig--amazing how much of riding is mental, isn't it. Flight and Ponichiwa, your horses are gorgeous as always, glad all is going well. Demi, great that you are able to carve out time for Rocky again; it must have felt great to be back in the saddle after the month you had. And Chisamba, sometimes there simply isn't anything more relaxing than a nice ride bareback, eh?

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Dresseur » Fri May 11, 2018 5:38 pm

We're having downpours, just lovely weather in between lol!

And I am too, we're going on about a year since the initial injury, about 6 months of being back in work. I'm still being careful and taking it day by day, but so far, no issues despite some impressive hijinks along the way.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby musical comedy » Fri May 11, 2018 6:57 pm

Sue B wrote:Adrienne called and said a 17", xw Elipse is on its way from Wisconsin and should be here by mid-week. I am soooo excited, everyone jingle for me that it fits me and Tio! Oh yeah, yes, MC, Tio needs a hoop tree. He has a very cobby shape to his shoulders and withers. I have never ridden or owned such a shaped horse before, so new thing for me as well.
I had to google and do a little research on hoop trees. I had heard of them, but never saw one advertised for sale. Could that be because all XW saddles are hoop trees and they just never mention hoop? I also read that a hoop tree is called a freedom tree. Do you all agree that is true? When you look at a hoop tree saddle from the front, is it obvious it is rounded?

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Hot4Spots » Fri May 11, 2018 10:25 pm

Well, I think it's pretty much "That's all f-f-f-f-folks!" I've been pushing it to the back of my mind for months and months, but the vet finally said what I've been afraid of - "This probably as good as it's going to get." So, it looks like he'll never be 100% sound. He's fine to ride at the walk, small hills. Vet says add a little trot (like 4x around the arena every other day). Walk as long and as far as I want as long as there are no steep hills. Moderate hills okay. Except..... he's a LOUSY trail horse. She wants to see him in 6-8 weeks and discuss then whether to try injecting with steroids. Her reservation there is that it might make him feel too good and he'll play up and make it worse. I suggested we could give him fluphenazine at that time, but I don't know that that's all that effective. We tried it once before when he was in the hand walking stage, and he didn't try to walk on his hind legs as much, but he was still pretty reactive, so ???

At my age - and financial condition - this basically means I have a 1,300 lb. pet for the rest of his and my life (and being Arab/Appaloosa he may well outlive me). While I might be able to afford to BUY another horse, I cannot afford to support two horses, so this is it.

A friend says a doctor at UC Davis is a "wiz" with legs, but we know what the diagnosis is. It's not like we don't KNOW why he's off. He's had two shockwave treatments and since there is no big hole in the suspensory, stem-cell isn't indicated as a treatment He was almost back to 100% about a year-and-a-half ago, then he partially reinjured, and we've been walk/walk/walking ever since. I don't know what else can be done,.

I don't know what to do now. He's a happy, engaged, otherwise healthy horse. He's groomed, loved, given treats, and ridden at the walk. Because of the injury, he can't be in turnout, but he does have his 15 x 40 paddock. He's only 14 and is/was a lovely mover for dressage. My dream horse. Turned out his temperament is a little hot and he tends to get tense, so he probably didn't fulfill his potential, as they say, but he did okay for an Appy ridden by an ammy who only takes lessons, i.e., no full-time trainer. All I can think of now is keeping on walking, put on my eventing vest, give him a good shot of ACE and try (once more) to get him to be a trail horse. :( :cry:

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby khall » Sat May 12, 2018 3:06 am

I'm so sorry Hot4Spots. What a heart breaker.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby StraightForward » Sat May 12, 2018 3:30 am

I am really sorry H4S :(
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby demi » Sat May 12, 2018 3:41 am

Sorry to hear about your horse, Hot4Spots. I wish I had something better to say. Ground work at the walk? Or clicker training tricks? But really, a 1300 lb pet is kind of cool. I have a couple of them myself. Emma is a high maintenance, temperamental half-Arabian pet, but I’ve noticed that since I have quit putting pressure on myself to keep her in work, she has become much less temperamental. I felt tension trying to keep her worked even just once or twice a week. And I think she must have felt my tension. She still has to be suited up in a fly mask, fly boots, fly sheet and spray before turn out every day during fly season (which is a long time in TX) and then, she can only go out between certain hours and in a small paddock with very short grass (fewer bugs). And when I bring her in I take everything off and groom her. BUT, She knows the program (which includes lots of cookies) and she seems to like the routine. She is relaxed, sweet, and engaged, kind of like you describe your boy. That
Arab sensitivity can be very special.

We also have a 20 some year old horse we bought for DH that didn’t work out. He was sort of a rescue (sort of because we had to pay for him!) that was very sick when we got him and we had to nurse him back to health. He is an unsafe mount because he bucks. Hard. He has a good life here and he enjoys being a big pet...

They can’t all be dressage horses.....

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Josette » Sat May 12, 2018 12:25 pm

Hot4Spots - This is a heartbreaker and I am so sorry you are in this situation. I have a 24 yr old retiree who at age 11 had navicular issues - I spent a fortune on MRI, x-rays, injections and tried various shoes plus barefoot. After several years of trying I could never keep him sound. He is a pasture pet / companion to my riding pony which I have at home. However, it is an entirely different situation when you have to pay board on one. I've been there - did that too for many years..... :(

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby kande50 » Sat May 12, 2018 1:05 pm

demi wrote:Emma is a high maintenance, temperamental half-Arabian pet, but I’ve noticed that since I have quit putting pressure on myself to keep her in work, she has become much less temperamental. I felt tension trying to keep her worked even just once or twice a week.

We also have a 20 some year old horse we bought for DH that didn’t work out. He was sort of a rescue (sort of because we had to pay for him!) that was very sick when we got him and we had to nurse him back to health. He is an unsafe mount because he bucks. Hard. He has a good life here and he enjoys being a big pet...

They can’t all be dressage horses.....


My theory on this is that some horses develop a form of PTSD, and may never be able to recover enough to be the kind of horses some of us want. I think some horses shut down in response to the kinds of training/handling that cause PTSD-like reactions, while others will become suppressed for as long as they can manage it and then they'll lose it.

Horses can only take just so much.

Fortunately, a few of the lucky ones land in places where they're given what they need to recover, if they're able.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby kande50 » Sat May 12, 2018 1:09 pm

Josette wrote: After several years of trying I could never keep him sound. He is a pasture pet / companion to my riding pony which I have at home. However, it is an entirely different situation when you have to pay board on one. I've been there - did that too for many years..... :(


OTOH, what are we going to spend our time and money on if we don't spend it on providing a good life for our "used" horses? Once a horse becomes too damaged there's always the option of moving him to a less costly boarding situation, some of which aren't a whole lot more expensive than keeping a horse at home.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Tsavo » Sat May 12, 2018 1:28 pm

When I was in Canada, I saw 3 years of horses come through the barn for training/rehab. I am going to say at least 20. They all improved under a GP trainer. Some went home, got "trained" by their owner, and came back to be fixed again.

The horses who don't respond to correct training are few in number in my opinion. Two I can name... a WB who was a congenital bucker and was sold to the Calgary Stampede and another WB who could not settle into dressage and then was switched to jumper and that didn't pan out if I recall correctly. In both these cases I think there was a veterinary reason, not PTSD.

I question whether PTSD or the like exists in non-abused horses. Candy is not talking about abused horses but horses in normal dressage training experiencing PTSD. That isn't happening as evidenced by the success of trainers who know what they are doing.

Horses are generally tractable and if treated fairly and kindly and are healthy do not mind work as a general rule. I think the reason is because they want to move even with a rider. The horses who never settle almost certainly have a vet med issue or have a tack problem or are not being trained respecting their need for balance.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby musical comedy » Sat May 12, 2018 1:57 pm

kande50 wrote:OTOH, what are we going to spend our time and money on if we don't spend it on providing a good life for our "used" horses? Once a horse becomes too damaged there's always the option of moving him to a less costly boarding situation, some of which aren't a whole lot more expensive than keeping a horse at home.
What are we going to spend our time/money on if not on horses (sound or used-up)? Are you kidding? There is not always the option of moving a horse to a less costly boarding situation. Some horses, like the one Hot4spots owns, is not a candidate for herd turnout. He'd probably be seriously injured in less than week. Other horses need a lot of TLC and meds or special shoeing. Many can't tolerate bugs or inclement weather or grass. The list is endless. This kind of discussion probably belongs on the quality of life thread in observation room, but since everyone seems to use this thread for all sorts of topics, I'll put this comment here. As much as an animal lover as I am, sometimes it is not evil to think of ourselves first.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Tsavo » Sat May 12, 2018 2:03 pm

musical comedy wrote: but since everyone seems to use this thread for all sorts of topics,


Hey MC, can I ask why this even matters? I mean we are not preserving a court transcript here. :-)

I have tried and failed to understand why "topic drift" on a forum is even a named thing. Can you edify me?

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby musical comedy » Sat May 12, 2018 2:09 pm

Tsavo wrote:
musical comedy wrote: but since everyone seems to use this thread for all sorts of topics,


Hey MC, can I ask why this even matters? I mean we are not preserving a court transcript here. :-)
I have tried and failed to understand why "topic drift" on a forum is even a named thing. Can you edify me?
Yes, it matters to me a lot. It would take too long for me to compose my thinking enough to explain it. For one thing, I don't visit every forum and topic on this board that has new posts if the subject of the thread doesn't interest me. I might miss some good information that is in those threads that went off topic. That's one example.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Sue B » Sat May 12, 2018 4:01 pm

H4S, I am so sorry about your horse's prognosis and your situation. Perhaps you will be lucky and someone who has a lovely dressage horse will need you to ride it and love it for them while they pay all the bills. ya never know! :P

Kande, i have no idea what your PTSD theory has to do with H4S, but whatever. As an aside, it took me 6 years, one broken hip, badly bruised femur and broken hand (all different incidents) to get Scotty "over" his abusive trainer, but I was successful and he lived a lovely, happy life thereafter. All things are possible with patient persistence, just not necessarily wise. I have since given up taking in rehabs and much more enjoy my "blank slates."

MC, I feel your frustration, so how's about an update on your progress with your new horse?

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby musical comedy » Sat May 12, 2018 5:01 pm

Sue B wrote:MC, I feel your frustration, so how's about an update on your progress with your new horse?
I'm on a regular riding program now with the new horse. She's a 2010 model, but green for her age. She has about 6 months dressage training before I got her. I've done two lessons so far and have one scheduled for tomorrow. Hopefully I can get on a once a week program, but trainer moved 1+ hours away and is only coming back here if he has another student besides me.

I don't ride very long. Half hour total with 20 minutes of energetic work. Every ride is about the same, working on bending, suppleness, and thoroughness. She's short backed, so the back can get tight.

It took me quite a few rides before I got used to her. She totally different from other horses I've owned and ridden. She's small (16h), short backed, energetic and quick in her gaits. By quick, I don't mean over tempo, but rather she doesn't have natural suspension like the big warmbloods. Everything felt different and I had some trouble getting used to it.

Also, it is really difficult now to get used to caring for two horses. I don't know how in the past I did it, as I once had 4 here and I do
everything myself. The bills really increased, mostly due to shavings and keeping them in their stalls more.

The saddle issue :evil: . I need need an 18 inch saddle due to my long thigh. Mare can't take an 18 or it would go past 18th rib. I ended up buying a used saddle that 'sort of' fits her. (At least the fitter said it did). I am struggling in this saddle. It has big, full blocks and forces me into a position that is uncomfortable. I was between a rock and hard place with saddle fit. I needed a saddle to start riding her in, but I wasn't in a position to be test riding saddles with a horse I wasn't familiar with. I had to settle for a static fit in the saddle. Regardless, I wasn't ready to dish out the 5k+ for a new saddle. I tried the cheaper saddles like Kent & Masters, but the stirrup bar wasn't right for me. For now, I'm just making do and will address the problem later in the future.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby kande50 » Sat May 12, 2018 10:35 pm

Sue B wrote:
Kande, i have no idea what your PTSD theory has to do with H4S, but whatever.


I was talking about Emma, who sounds like she either has a physical issue that comes and goes, or an anxiety issue, or both. It doesn't appear to be an uncommon problem in horses.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Moutaineer » Sat May 12, 2018 11:59 pm

Hot4Spots, I am so sorry, that is a heartbreaker. You've tried so hard to make this work.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Moutaineer » Sun May 13, 2018 12:32 am

We've had torrential rain here for the past two days and it has been really quite cold. I've been riding in a clinic an hour or so away, and hauling up and down the freeway in rush hour traffic and driving rain has been a miserable experience.

We had a frantic message from the organizer on Wednesday that the barn owner had managed to double book the facility for today, and they'd been trying to build an outdoor arena in a matter of days. I took one look at the fresh, very deep, very wet footing and said "nope!" And I wasn't the only one... so we ended up riding in what appeared to be a converted cow barn on a neighboring farm, replete with agricultural equipment stacked in the corners and an overpowering stink of cat pee--and the lights were intermittent. But, the footing was actually excellent and it had a roof on it, so we made do. Mette was a real sport about it--I don't think it's quite what she's used to!

I had two excellent rides. More than anything it confirmed to me that I am on the right path with my regular instruction, and Mette was able to home in on and fine-tune some stuff I have been struggling with at home. I haven't seen today's video yet, so I need to digest that before I can make a true report, as I'm still a bit glazed over by the whole experience.

Laddie was such a good boy. I thought he'd have a melt down at cat-pee barn as we had to have all the roll up doors open and there was machinery working outside and farm dogs and cats wandering through the arena, and a deluge and thunder and lightning, but he just had a bit of a goggle at everything and then settled down to work.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby demi » Sun May 13, 2018 12:49 am

What a good report, Mountaineer! You've put in the time and effort, you've done you're homework, you've paid your dues!! and it's paying off. Just thinking about hauling on the freeway in rush hour and driving rain for an hour makes me nervous. And then all the rest on top of it...well, that takes grit.

It sounds like Laddie is putting his trust in you. I look forward to the report after you watch your vid and things sink in a bit.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby DJR » Sun May 13, 2018 12:52 am

H4S - I'm so sorry to hear about your horse and your own situation. Big hugs.

Mountaineer, yuck I hate rain, and add to that long drives and new, strange arenas to ride in. It sounds like it went amazingly well despite the weather woes!

Today my daughter and I took a clinic of a bit different sort ... trick horse training! Hot4Spots, I wonder if this would be a fun offshoot for you and your horse? It was based entirely on reward/shaping and was so much fun. The instructor has been teaching her own horses tricks for the last 20 yrs so had a wealth of experience to draw from. She is planning an intermediate clinic later in the summer, and then a more advanced clinic later in the fall if she has enough people interested.

Today we learned a lot! We started with simple things like smile, shake the head 'no', hug, snuggle, move shoulders away, move quarters away, move entire horse sideways/away, and turn in (which means asking the horse to step towards the handler, which is much harder to teach as most horses are taught to respect that personal space) both the shoulders & the quarters. Then we moved on to target work (which will lead to at-liberty lunging and similar things), then a slightly different tool to teach the horse to move the legs on cue (which will lead, over time, to shaping/developing things like Spanish walk & piaffe). We then worked on a 2-legged bow which allowed us to move on to start to shape a 1-legged bow. We finished with pedestal work.

I was surprised how much the horses could learn in such a short time. It's all rudiments at this stage, but from my work with dogs & other species I totally see how things can progress to more behaviors on cue.

Here are some pictures from today. I was too busy with Jet to take many, but the instructor got a few shots of me with Jet, and I took a few of my daughter with her adorable pony. Enjoy!

My daughter's first time getting her pony all the way up on her pedestal.
2018May12 TrickHorseClinic_Sera1.jpg
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And me with Mr. Jet, who towers above me (he's big enough already)!!
2018May12 TrickHorseClinic_Jet1.jpg
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My daughter was able to get Sera to offer to step up on her own this last time (before that, we help by placing the first foot on the pedestal, then luring them up with treats). She then added the "hug" trick while Sera was on her pedestal. So neat!
2018May12 TrickHorseClinic_Sera3.jpg
2018May12 TrickHorseClinic_Sera3.jpg (141.68 KiB) Viewed 442 times
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby kande50 » Sun May 13, 2018 10:25 pm

DJR wrote:
Today my daughter and I took a clinic of a bit different sort ... trick horse training!


That's how I got started clicker training, too. I just wanted to teach my mule to bow, and now here I am 20 years later still trying to figure out how to use it to teach everything I want to teach. In fact, it's no longer about any kind of practical application of CT, because it's become all about the challenge of trying to figure out how it works.

Kind of like my pottery project. I just wanted to make a few bowls, and here I am 20 years later still at it.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Rosie B » Mon May 14, 2018 1:23 am

Bliss and I are plugging away. I was really happy with how he went today - nicely forward and in front of the leg for most of it. He's feeling more solid in the connection these days.

DJR - that looks like fun!

H4S - I'm so sorry. :( That really sucks.

Mountaineer - will you be posting any footage? I'd love to see you guys go!
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby mari » Mon May 14, 2018 9:33 am

Odin got a 5th place in the 1m class yesterday, piloted by my coach.

Image

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Josette » Mon May 14, 2018 11:40 am

So many lovely photos taken in sunny weather. We just went through another set of rainy days (great for the ticks in NJ), so no riding.

Rosie - I must confess - I adore your guy as he is the identical color of my first pony MANY years ago (welsh cross). Bliss shows so much improvement and looks content in his work.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby piedmontfields » Mon May 14, 2018 1:30 pm

Really appreciate the updates, everyone. HotsfSpots, I am sorry on the prognosis and wish you clarity on next steps.

So many great reports and photos! I like the canter photos of MIro very much and Bliss is looking amazing! The trick training with your daughter must have been so fun, DJR. MC, I appreciate your comments on the challenge of taking on a new horse---it is just a shift in perspective and place of entry into training. I hope you are enjoying your new partner.

Em and I are continuing to address honest reactions and consistency of power delivery. We are having hot sunny days and I am grateful that 1. she is a good sweater and 2. she is in pretty good shape! I sometimes do trot and canter sets with her (influence of my eventing barn) and I find that her recovery is very very quick on the rest between sets. I am a believe in keeping mature horses in work and decent balance as a way to keep them sound (if it is possible to do so! We are not all so lucky). So far, so good.

Inspired by Kiwi's lovely conformation shot, here is Emi, slightly less well arranged. You'll notice all of our challenges here! (short neck, lots of shoulder, short back, funky SI connection).

Emi May 2018.JPG
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Hot4Spots » Mon May 14, 2018 2:31 pm

Well, the report on our first venture off the property is...not so good. This just in: 2 ccs of ACE is NOT enough. Sigh. I had to lead him out first because the driveway gate is not one that can be opened from horseback. There's a fire hydrant nearby I used as a mounting block. Even slightly drugged he was quite alert, but pretty reasonable for about 10 minutes as we walked down the road. Then he got lighter and lighter on his feet (yeah, boy, I know you can piaffe and passage when sufficiently excited.) When he started high-blowing and sucking waaaaaaay back behind the bit, I did a quick dismount and led him the rest of the way back, high-blowing, bouncing into me, spooking at every little noise (deer in the bushes), etc. The minute I turned into the barn driveway, he dropped into a flat-footed walk. I can see it's going to be hard to find the fine line between "calm enough to walk down the road" and "unable to move." On Sunday, undrugged, we did our round and round the property, including being totally unbothered by the very active hen turkey running around all over the place. One minor whoops! when a pasture horse took off squealing and bucking, but he settled down quickly. Weather permitting, we'll try again next Saturday - this time 3ccs, I guess.


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